Good morning. It’s Tuesday, Feb. 6.
- Record-setting rain drenches Los Angeles region.
- Video captures howling wolves in the southern Sierra.
- And volunteers staple Narcan to trees in Skid Row.
The powerful atmospheric river that arrived Sunday stalled over the Los Angeles area on Monday, delivering a deluge that turned roads into rivers, forced swift water rescues, and caused more than 120 mudslides. In the Santa Monica Mountains, debris flows tore through several neighborhoods nestled within the canyons, ripping one home completely from its foundation and disgorging a piano into the street.
By midday Monday, UCLA had recorded nearly 12 inches of rain in 24 hours, more than half its annual average. “We’re talking about one of the wettest storm systems to impact the greater Los Angeles area” since records began, said meteorologist Ariel Cohen. “Going back to the 1870s, this is one of the top three.” The storm was expected to drench Southern California through Tuesday, weakening as it pivots eastward. L.A. Times | Reuters | Washington Post
- In Northern California, at least three deaths were attributed to falling trees. S.F. Chronicle
- Maps depict deluge across L.A. N.Y. Times
- Track the storm. 👉 Zoom Earth
Photos and video from social media:
- Incredible drone footage of flooded Malibu Canyon.
- Destroyed property in Beverly Crest.
- “They were screaming for their lives.” A harrowing rescue along a flooded road in San Bernardino County.
- Firefighter helicopter rescues man who had jumped into a river to save his dog.
- “About as full as it gets.” Santa Ana River in Yorba Linda.
- Normally meager Los Angeles River strains its banks.
- “Magical” snowfall in the Sierra.
As California receives record-breaking rain, Chile has reported more than 120 deaths in an eruption of wildfires after reeling from drought for the better part of a decade. “Behind these risks are two powerful forces: Climate change, which can intensify both rain and drought, and the natural weather phenomenon known as El Niño, which can also supersize extreme weather,” wrote the N.Y. Times.
Mike McGuire was sworn in Monday as the new leader of the California Senate. The Democrat’s rise to one of the most powerful posts in state government was foreshadowed back at Healdsburg High in 1997, when McGuire was elected student body president. At 19, he was elected to the local school board, then to the city council, board of supervisors, and the state Senate. Now 44, McGuire choked up Monday describing how his divorced mother struggled to put food on the table. “In other places in this country, I might have been forgotten,” he said. “But not in California.” CalMatters | Sonoma Magazine
Last summer, a pack of gray wolves mysteriously appeared in the southern Sierra, making them the southernmost pack in California. At the time, biologists investigating the migration of the Yowlumni pack had only a grainy photo, fur samples, and droppings. Now wildlife officials have released close-up video from a trail camera showing the wolves howling in the wilderness. Turn up the volume. YouTube | Field and Stream
The photographer Dorothea Lange knew adversity from a young age. At age 7, polio left her with a lifelong limp, and at 12 her father deserted the family, leaving an impoverished household behind. In “Seeing People,” a new Lange exhibit at the National Gallery of Art, those experiences are evident in the way she photographed the poor and oppressed. Critic Kriston Capps noted how deft Lange’s touch could be in images such as “Street Encounter, Richmond, California,” above, in which she frames a sign that says “Serve Yourself” so that it reads “Serve You.” Washington Post | Wall Street Journal
- Explore 54 works from “Seeing People.” 👉 National Gallery of Art
In an investigative project, the Spanish newspaper El País tracked the flow of fentanyl across eight international cities, including San Francisco, where its photographer captured vivid scenes of the addiction catastrophe in the Tenderloin. “They don’t say much that’s intelligible to each other, but they nod along together. When they’re in one place, they lie around in any way possible, with their heads against the pavement. … Every now and then, someone shouts ‘overdose!’” El País
- The San Francisco Chronicle turned over its front page to the names of those who died from drug overdoses in 2023. The editorial board called the deaths a policy choice. S.F. Chronicle
San Francisco politics has been likened to a “knife fight in a phone booth.” In the latest dust-up, Julie Pitta, a progressive columnist for the Richmond Review, was caught removing the campaign sign of a disfavored moderate candidate from a coffee shop window. When a photo of the misdeed appeared on social media, outrage erupted. Police opened an investigation, the Review canceled Pitta’s column, and Pitta admitted that she is “only human.” Terry Whalen, who frequents the coffee shop, summed it all up: “On one hand, it’s the most insignificant thing in the universe. But on the other hand, it’s lame.” S.F. Chronicle
In a column on affordable travel destinations, the New York Times suggested skipping the cherry blossoms of Japan and going instead to Modesto, where nearly 200 square miles of surrounding almond orchards erupt in pinks and purples every February and March. An audio tour guides motorists to roadside markets, one of the state’s prettiest bridges, and a farm where you can picnic in the orchards. “It’s like having a longtime resident take you around to their favorite spots,” said food writer Alan Chazaro. N.Y. Times | SFGATE
“Disgusting,” “criminal,” “lies,” “defamatory,” “despicable,” “sexist.”
The Southern California swing district being vacated by Rep. Katie Porter is considered a crucial contest that could easily swing back to Republican control. But the fiercest campaign attacks are being traded by two Democratic candidates. State Sen. Dave Min of Irvine accused his rival, Joanna Weiss, of funding her campaign with legal fees from “defending child molesters.” Weiss has run ads slamming Min for driving drunk. The intraparty vitriol is a gift to Republican contender Scott Baugh, who only barely lost to Porter in 2022. Politico
People are stapling boxes of Narcan to trees in Los Angeles’ Skid Row. The volunteers say they were compelled to launch the project after city crews made a practice of destroying stashes of the opioid overdose reversal medication when they clear encampments. “After sweeps, late at night when there’s no providers here, when there’s no one to give the Narcan to people, people are running up and down the street screaming, begging for Narcan,” said Soma Snakeoil, who leads a harm-reduction nonprofit. In These Times
Bryan Johnson, a tech centimillionaire turned longevity guru, has attracted a cult following in Los Angeles with claims that eternal life could be within our grasp. “For the first time in the history of Homo sapiens, it’s possible to say with a straight face that death may no longer be inevitable,” he told columnist Jean Guerrero on a recent “Don’t Die” hike in Temescal Canyon. For a moment, Guerrero wrote, she fell under his spell. L.A. Times
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